Maybe by getting older and having kids, time has become more valuable. I didn’t think much of it as a kid, hence the often yelled “We’re Waiting On You!” phrase that I heard growing up.

But as I was sifting through some well kept day planner pages from 2001 and 2002 I realized something. For two years I worked an average of 60 hours a week. Seeing that and realizing how little that got me in my career, and how much time I didn’t get with my family, I just shake my head in disgust.

How could I have been such an idiot? Not that I don’t mind working extra hours, but when you have an additional 900+ hours of work (above the regular work hours) in just one year alone … sheesh.

What could I have done with those 900 hours? Write more songs? Be a better dad? Be a better husband? What good did it do me to plug in 14 hour days on a regular basis? To add more injury to myself, I didn’t use up all my vacation time for that time … haven’t used my vacation time appropriately for years. As a result, I feel tired most of the time. My kids aren’t as close to me as I’d like and my marriage isn’t as strong as it should be. Neither is my walk with God.

I’m grateful that I took the time to record those hours. I quickly forget how long I’ve been pushing myself so hard and how worthless it all is. No rewards all around.

Looking at this, the question is – how do I change? What can I do to make the future better? Hours have already been cut back at work thanks to a change in position. I have to admit that I was upset at first, but it’s nice to be working a normal 40-45 hour week. I have to admit that I’ve contemplated a major uproot and taking my family to Italy or Spain where I hear of 30 hour work weeks, mid-day siestas and higher family values. Well – no Spain for us, at least not for now. But I need to make the time with my family precious. Not precious as in it’s so rare, but precious as in it’s so common they feel my absence when I’m not there.